Side Effects of Marijuana Use

Marijuana consumption brings about some hormonal changes. These may sometimes leads to acne formation.

Marijuana first raises then lowers testosterone levels. Skin reacts to unnatural hormone fluctuations, leading to acne.

Marijuana can have far-reaching effects on the reproductive systems of both males and females.

Effects on Males

  • Decreased masculinity- Use of marijuana results in lowered levels of the male hormone testosterone. This hormone is essential for the development and support of male secondary sexual characteristics such as hair growth, voice tone, and muscle distribution.
  • Impotency- Male users of marijuana may experience an inability to function sexually.
  • Infertility- Moderate to heavy marijuana use can result in decreased or zero sperm production. Studies indicate increased production of abnormal sperm among users, which can result in birth defects in offspring.
  • Acne formation usually occurs in the initial stages of testosterone fluctuation. It is usually more pronounced in females than males, but it does occur in males, especially in early stages.

Dealing With Acne

Treatment of acne is designed to prevent formation of new lesions and aid the healing of old lesions. Ideally, you should avoid taking anything that is known to cause acne. You should definitely stop marijuana, since it has some serious adverse effects on health besides acne.

Topical medications that dry up the oil and/or promote skin peeling may contain benzoyl peroxide, sulfur, resorcinol, salicylic acid or Vitamin A derivatives (retinoids).

Antibiotics (such as tetracycline or erythromycin) may be prescribed if the skin lesions appear infected. Topical antibiotics (applied to a localized area of the skin) such as clindamycin or erythromycin are also used to control infection.

Synthetic Vitamin A analogues (isotretinoin, Accutane) have been shown to be of benefit in the treatment of severe acne.

Surgical intervention may include professional (chemical) skin peeling, removal of eruptions or scars (dermabrasion), or removal and/or drainage of cysts.

A small amount of sun exposure may improve acne. However, excessive exposure to sunlight or ultraviolet rays is not recommended because prolonged exposure increases the risk of skin cancer.

Home Treatment

Supportive home care measures may lessen the effects of acne:

  1. Clean the skin gently but thoroughly with soap and water, removing all dirt. -Wash as often as needed to control oil, at least daily and after exercising.
  2. Shampoo hair daily when possible. Use a dandruff shampoo if necessary.
  3. Comb or pull hair back to keep hair out of the face.
  4. Don’t squeeze, scratch, pick, or rub lesions. These activities can increase skin damage. Wash your hands before and after caring for skin lesions to reduce the chance of infection.
  5. Don’t rest your face on your hands. This irritates the skin of the face.
  6. Identify and avoid anything that aggravates acne. Though no substance is proven to cause acne in everyone, the triggers may include foods, lotions, drugs, make-up, and so on. Avoid greasy cosmetics or creams, which can aggravate acne.

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